Prevalence of topical corticosteroids related adverse drug events and associated factors in selected community pharmacies and cosmetic shops of Addis Ababa, Ethiopia


Introduction: Inappropriate use of topical corticosteroids was found to cause different dermatological complications. Despite its complex adverse effects, misuse of topical corticosteroids has been a common practice throughout the world. The objective of this study was to assess the prevalence of misuse of topical corticosteroids and its associated factors in selected community pharmacies and cosmetics shops of Addis

Methods: A cross-sectional study design was conducted from February to April in twelve community pharmacies and six cosmetics shops in Addis Ababa. A topical corticosteroids use pattern and related adverse events. Descriptive statistics were used to summarize the nature and frequency of cosmetic use while binary and multinomial logistic regression was employed to test associated factors. Statistical
significance was set at p<0.05.

Result: From a total of 286 participants, more than two third obtained the topical corticosteroids as over the counter. Among these, majority (59.8%) used for beautification purpose. More than half of the users faced adverse drug events and the most common affected site was face. Educational status was found to be associated with OTC use of corticosteroids. Age, reading of label, frequency of application, recommendation by friends and, mixing with other cosmetics and water have shown statistically significant association with occurrence of adverse drug events.

Conclusion: Majority of the topical corticosteroids were obtained without prescription for the purpose of beautification rather than treatment. A higher proportion of cosmetic users reported to have experienced at least one adverse event. There needs to consider safety concerns related to topical corticosteroids use in the city.

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